DNR Board of Public Works Approves $2.1 Million for Recreation and Land Preservation


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Funding includes recreational facilities in Calvert and Frederick counties

Photo of farm along river

Among the items funded, a conservation easement in the Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area in Carroll County will help protected forested stream buffer in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo.

The Board of Public Works today approved Maryland Department of Natural Resources items including more than $2.1 million in grants to local governments and land trusts to preserve and protect land, and provide recreational opportunities for Marylanders.

Program Open Space – Local provides funding for county and municipal governments for the planning, purchase and development of recreational land or facilities. A total of $622,000 in Program Open Space – Local was approved for three projects, including a $300,000 grant for basketball court improvements at Cove Point Park in Calvert County and $297,000 for the acquisition of 4.3 acres to expand the Brunswick Sports Complex in Frederick County.

“Program Open Space continues to leverage state money with local support for recreation facilities in our communities,” said Hilary Bell, Director of Land Acquisition and Planning for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “These projects in turn provide Marylanders with proven health benefits for citizens, protection of open space from development, and investment in our local economies.”

Additional approvals include:

  • More than $850,000 from the Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Program for a shade structure and digital football scoreboard in Worcester County and a new pavilion and other enhancements at Marshy Point Park in Baltimore County. The Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Program was funded in FY 2022 and FY 2023 to provide grant funds primarily to local governments for park and recreation projects.
  • More than $635,000 in Rural Legacy funding was granted to sponsors to purchase two separate conservation easements totaling 148 acres. The Cecil Land Trust will purchase an easement in the Fair Hill Rural Legacy Area in Cecil County, and Carroll County will purchase an easement in the Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area. These conservation easements will permanently protect forests that together contain over a mile in length of forested stream buffer in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Rural Legacy Program, created in 1997, conserves large working landscapes across 35 locally designated areas throughout Maryland.

All projects funded are listed in the Board of Public Works May 15, 2024 meeting agenda. The three-member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor Wes Moore, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman.

Established under the Department of Natural Resources in 1969, Program Open Space (divided into Local and Stateside programs), along with other state land conservation programs, symbolizes Maryland’s long-term commitment to conserving our natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for all citizens.